ABC will finish the season in fourth place, but it has a spring in its step as it nears the finish line.
Showing that it can be very competitive when it's at (mostly) full-strength and there's no major sports action skewing results in the favor of its rivals, the Alphabet made it two straight weekly victories in adults 18-49 -- the first time it has won consecutive in-season weeks since November 2009. And it did so without top drama "Scandal," which wrapped a week earlier.
Dancing With the Stars" and "Once Upon a Time" continued their strong springs last week, while first-year dramas "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" and "Resurrection" contributed with solid numbers of their own and comedy "Last Man Standing" closed its season nicely.
In the nine weeks since the conclusion of NBC's coverage of the Olympics on Feb. 24, ABC is the top network in adults 18-49 (2.3 rating) -- slightly ahead of CBS (2.2), which is followed by NBC (2.0) and Fox (1.7), according to Nielsen estimates.
Overall for the week of April 21-27, ABC led in adults 18-49 with a 1.5 rating/5 share, and was followed close behind by Fox and CBS (both at 1.4 rating) and NBC (1.3/4). This is just the sixth time in 31 weeks this season that Fox has finished ahead of NBC (including Fox's winning weeks when it carried the World Series and Super Bowl).
CBS won narrowly in adults 25-54 (2.1/6 to 2.0/5 for ABC) and cruised as usual in total viewers (7.96 million to 6.39 million), its eighth straight win in this category. (The Eye likely would have swept the week in demos, but it aired repeats of its Tuesday and Wednesday crime dramas.)
For ABC, "Dancing With the Stars" (2.2/6 in 18-49, 14.06 million viewers overall) closed the demo gap with NBC's "The Voice" (and narrowed it further on Monday of the current week), teaming with "Castle" (1.8/5 in 18-49, 9.76 million viewers overall) for another solid second-place finish.
"Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.04 million viewers overall) held steady in the demo while hitting an 11-week high in total viewers, and Sunday's "Resurrection" (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.85 million viewers overall) again beat ABC's broadcast rivals in young adults.
The star of Sunday for ABC, though, was "Once Upon a Time" (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.34 million viewers overall), which was up 29% week to week and 10% year to year. It again was also the night's most social broadcast series, amassing 41,416 tweets (20% more than the previous week), according to Nielsen Social stats.
Other ABC shows winning their timeslots in 18-49 included "Modern Family" (3.5/10 in 18-49, 9.59 million viewers overall), "Grey's Anatomy" (2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.99 million viewers overall) and "Shark Tank" (1.7/6 in 18-49, 7.11 million viewers overall). And in the hour preceding "Shark Tank" on Friday, "Last Man Standing" (1.4/6 in 18-49, 6.10 million viewers overall) rose 17% (0.2) week to week as it closed its third season by matching its best demo score since late January.
In series premiere news, the Alphabet's "Black Box" did an OK 1.5/4 in 18-49 and 6.87 million viewers overall on Thursday. While it was the net's top 10 p.m. drama bow of the season, this was less than half the 3.4 demo rating that "Scandal" had delivered with its week-earlier season finale.
At CBS, comedy "Bad Teacher" opened to solid numbers Thursday (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.80 million viewers overall), logging the top regular series score in the night's 9:30 half-hour since early January ("Two and a Half Men").
Leading off that night, "The Big Bang Theory" continued to roll along (4.5/16 in 18-49, 16.44 million viewers overall), impressively matching its year-ago demo delivery while adding about 1.3 million total viewers.
Fox was paced by "Family Guy" (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.02 million viewers overall), and saw gains on Friday with "Kitchen Nightmares" (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.15 million viewers overall at 9 p.m.).
For NBC, "The Voice" and "The Blacklist" accounted for three of the top five broadcast series of the week in 18-49, led by Monday's two-hour edition of the music contest (3.0/9 in 18-49, 11.19 million viewers overall). "Blacklist" was the week's No. 1 ad-supported drama in 18-49.
Tuesday rookie comedy "About a Boy" (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.68 million viewers overall) grew in 18-49 for a second straight week, while Friday saw gains for both "Grimm" (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.93 million viewers overall) and "Hannibal" (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.45 million viewers overall). Thursday's hourlong "Parks and Recreation" finale settled for a 1.0/3 in 18-49 and 2.71 million viewers overall.
CW's top shows were "Supernatural" (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.10 million viewers overall) and "The Vampire Diaries" (0.8/3 in 18-49, 1.81 million viewers overall), with the latter bouncing back a bit from its low of the previous week.
NBA-powered TNT led cable in key demos for the week, with its best numbers coming Sunday with Game 4 of the Houston-Portland playoff series (2.1/7 in 18-49, 4.73 million viewers overall).
The top basic cable series in 18-49 were USA's "WWE Raw" on Monday (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.40 million viewers overall), Bravo's "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.15 million viewers overall) and Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.82 million viewers overall).